Originally published in Haiti Liberte August 18 – 24, 2010; Vol. 4, No. 5

by Isabeau Doucet

The Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti (IHRC) held its first public meeting Tuesday, Aug. 17 at the Karibe Hotel in Pétionville. The meeting was scheduled at the same time as the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) met to decide the final list of presidential candidates running to inherit decisions made and projects initiated by the IHRC.

The 26-member IHRC, which effectively governs the country in trusteeship since formed by an Apr. 21, 2010 presidential decree, finally presented its plan for Haiti’s reconstruction and rehabilitation. Using buzz words like “community consultation,” ” sustainable development ,” “transparency,” and “anti-corruption,” the Commission presented its budgets and action plans.

Board members (half of whom are foreigners, half Haitian) have promised $94.3 million for school reconstruction and other Haitian education needs by this fall.

In the next three months, the IHRC promised $15 million to pick up 50% of the rubble from six Port-au-Prince neighborhoods including rue de Césaire, rue Saint Honorée, Avenue Monseigneur Guilloux and the waterfront. It also vowed to build 15,000 to 20,000 public houses and develop community schools, hospitals and police stations.

Halfway through the hurricane season, the IHRC allowed three months to build temporary shelters for 400,000 to 500,000 people.

Anne Roosevelt, vice president of Global Corporate Citizenship at Boeing, announced that the corporation would donate $2.2 million in humanitarian and educational aid to Haiti.

“This is an encouraging sign that will hopefully pave the way for other private companies to come get involved in reconstruction and humanitarian work in Haiti,” said Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive, who co-chairs the IHRC with former US president Bill Clinton.

There was no mention of the humanitarian disaster and human rights violations suffered daily by 1.7 million internally displaced, many of whom have not yet received emergency supplies after seven months.

“It’s like night and day between the concerns of the IHRC board members and those of the people in the camps,” said Mario Joseph of the International Lawyers’ Office (BAI) in Port-au-Prince. “The IHRC’s solutions would be more relevant to the needs of Haitian victims if they simply visited the camps.”



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